"Broad-strength." The son of Sthenelus and Antibia or Nicippe. He was the cousin of Heracles. The day on which Heracles was to be born, Zeus boasted of his becoming the father of a man who was to rule over the heroic race of Perseus. Hera prevailed upon him to confirm by an oath that the descendant of Perseus born that day should be the ruler. When this was done she hastened to Argos, and there caused the wife of Sthenelus to give birth to Eurystheus, whereas, by keeping away the Eileithyiae, she delayed the confinement of Alcmene, and thus robbed Heracles of the empire which Zeus had intended for him.

Zeus, in his desire not to leave Heracles the victim of Hera's jealousy, made her promise, that if Heracles executed twelve great works in the service of Eurystheus, he should become immortal.

After Heracles' death, his son Hyllus killed Eurystheus.



  • Hyginus. Fabulae, 30 ff.
  • Ovid. Metamorphoses ix, 203.
  • Pseudo-Apollodorus. The Library ii, 4.5 ff.
  • Smith, William. (1870). Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. London: Taylor, Walton, and Maberly.
  • Statius. Silvae iii, 1, 24.
  • Virgil. Georgics iii, 4.

This article incorporates text from Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology (1870) by William Smith, which is in the public domain.